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Loan Risk Surges in Final April Index

Nearly 12 percent of home purchase loans in today’s market run the risk of default in the event of an economic downturn, according to a new report from the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk. According to AEI, last month’s rising index was caused largely by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Rural Housing Services (RHS) increasing their market share, which was up to an estimated 32.2 percent in April.

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March Price Gains Beat Forecasts Despite Slowdown

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released Tuesday, recorded a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent monthly rise in prices across 20 of the country's top markets. Compared to a year ago, March prices were up 12.4 percent, a step back from the 12.9 percent annual increase recorded in February. "The year-over-year changes suggest that prices are rising more slowly," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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Seven Major Metros Reporting New House Price Peaks

According to the latest from Black Knight Financial Services seven of the 40 largest metro areas hit new peaks in March, suggesting that perhaps a sluggish first quarter is on its way to rebounding in time for summer. Overall, the company recorded a 1.0 percent monthly increase in prices nationwide, bringing the index within 12.8 percent of its 2006 peak.

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Florida Housing Market Is ‘Balanced,’ Improving

Home prices have risen in Florida for 29 consecutive months as of April, according to Florida Realtors. At the same time, new listings and inventory are on the rise. "We continue to see the development of a sustainable market here in Florida," said John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors, adding, "The numbers all suggest a balanced market."

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All-Cash Sales Hover Near One-Third of Transactions

The mortgage meltdown and its somewhat predictable fallout—tighter regulations that ensure such a crisis cannot recur but choke lending and borrowing at the source—have led to an equally inevitable outcome: a glut in cash sales for homes. A recent report by Redfin shows that in 17 metro markets in the United States, a full third of sales this year have been all-cash deals. And that figure has been essentially flat since 2011.

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Consumer Spending Gauge Perks Up After March Drop

In its most recent monthly release, Deloitte reported a slight rise in its Consumer Spending Index, which measured 3.88 as of the end of the month. Daniel Bachman, senior U.S. economist for Deloitte, said the improvement was thanks to April's decrease in initial unemployment claims and a double-digit pickup in real median new home prices.

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HUD Awards $40M in Grants for Housing Counseling

As part of its efforts to improve consumer housing education, HUD announced it was given out an additional $40 million in grants to national, regional, and local organizations nationwide to aid housing counseling programs. HUD projects the housing grants will help assist more than 1.5 million households find housing, keep their current homes, and make more informed housing choices.

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New Home Sales Bounce Up in April

According to estimates released Friday by the Commerce Department, sales of new single-family homes last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, a 6.4 percent improvement over March’s upwardly revised rate of 407,000. March sales were originally reported at 384,000.

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California Home Sales Spike 20% in April

In a new report, PropertyRadar found that single-family home sales in the Golden State were up 20 percent month-to-month, though year-to-date sales are still lagging compared to last year. In fact, according to PropertyRadar's director of economic research, Madeline Schnapp, "year-to-date sales volumes in 2014 are the lowest since 2008."

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